Sermon Notes & References

Words to Remember

2 Peter 1:10-15

(Paraphrase, RGH)                                                                     November 10, 2019

1.  10 Wherefore rather, brothers, be zealous to make firm your calling and out-choosing, for if doing these things, you shall certainly not stumble at any time. 11 For thus an entrance shall be richly provided to you into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 12 ¶ Wherefore I shall intend always to remind you concerning these things although you have knowledge and are steadfast in the present truth. 13 But I deem it right, inasmuch as I am in this tent, to arouse you to recollection, 14 knowing that soon is the laying down of my tent even according as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Yea, I also will give diligence at every time that you may be able to have these things in remembrance after my death.

 

2.  Introduction

     a.  God’s Objective for Us

     b.  His Sanctifying Work Footnote

 

3.  Confirming God’s Work in Us (vv 10-11)

     a.  Peter’s Charge to Us (10a) Footnote

     b.  Confirm & Be Assured (10b)

     c.  The Rich Result (11)

 

4.  Peters Continuing Care (vv 12-15)

     a.  His Readiness to Remind (12) Footnote

     b.  Folding Up His Tent (13-14) Footnote

     c.  A Future Provision (15)

 

5.  Conclusion

     a.  Peter’s Diligence Should Be Ours

     b.  To Continue to Grow as Christians


Endnote  2 Peter 1:10-15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Words to Remember

 

1.  Introduction

     a.  God’s Objective for Us

          i.   is found in the first four verses of this second letter of the apostle Peter

                (1) grasped by the faith shared by every Christian, verse 1

                (2) accomplished by our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, verse 1

                (3) through truly knowing Him who called us, verse 3

                (4) granted by His precious and magnificent promises

          ii.  namely, that we should become partakers of the divine nature.

 

     b.  His Sanctifying Work

          i.   and its perfection is here, then, announced to us Christians

                (1) being nothing short of sharing Christ’s divine nature

                (2) which is stated elsewhere in a number of verses, which we have quoted repeatedly in this connection

                (3) as, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

                (4) and “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;” (Romans 8:29)

          ii.  this is a co-operative work between us and the Holy Spirit,

                (1) our part being found in the passage before us today, and in such verses as “1 ¶ I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)

                (2) and the Spirit’s part in such verses as “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

          iii.  the first two verses in this passage are an exhortation that we should be diligent in …

 

2.  Confirming God’s Work in Us (10-11)

     a.  Peter’s Charge to Us (10a)

          i.   Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; …

                (1) I think that the AV rendering, ‘wherefore the rather’, as the most literal is also the most helpful, in that it connects what is to follow as being in contrast to what has just been said

                (2) namely the example to be avoided given in verse 9

                     (a) of being one lacking the virtues of Christian growth just listed

                     (b) and being forgetful of Christ’s having cleansed us from sin

          ii.  in the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification we are to be diligent

                (1) which echoes back to verse 5 where we are to apply diligence to add one after another virtues of Christian growth to our faith

                (2) a diligence which involves zeal, haste and eagerness

          iii.  our calling and election (or being chosen)

                (1) now, those are words we often skirt around

                     (a) although they are repeatedly used in Scripture

                     (b) and have already appeared in the verses or their context that we have already quoted this morning

                     (c) so that people often look at them and think, ‘Oh, those are words having to do with salvation,’ so they think the verse is saying ‘be diligent to make your salvation sure or certain.’ and say that we have to add our efforts or we will not be saved

                (2) but let us look at those terms; first, calling

                     (a) who does this calling? God does!

                     (b) Romans 8:30 continues from verse 29, “and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

                     (c) Hebrew 3:1 and 2 Timothy 1:9 make the same truth clear

                     (d) can I do anything to improve upon God’s calling? No!

                (3) and the second term; election, or ‘choosing out from’

                     (a) who does this choosing? God does!

                     (b) as shown for example in “knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;” (1 Thessalonians 1:4)

                     (c) and in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 previously read.

                     (d) can I do anything to improve on God’s choosing? No!

          iv. This verse, therefore, is not about ensuring our salvation

                (1) but about confirming the fact that we have been called & chosen

                (2) that we are living out the salvation we have received

                (3) and we not be like the person described in “If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:15)

          v.  I have spent some time on this verse because it has been misunderstood and wrongly explained by so many.

 

     b.  Confirm & Be Assured (10b)

          i.   … for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

                (1) ‘these things’ refers back to the marks of Christian growth starting in verse 5 and the diligence in seeking them which is part of our sanctification

                (2) the Christian life is referred to as being a walk or journey

                     (a) in Peter’s first letter as a pilgrimage

                     (b) which implies a difficult walk; a hike; a long journey

          ii.  but by giving diligence to growing and maturing as a Christian, and by the gracious help of God, we can avoid those painful falls on the way

 

     c.  The Rich Result (11)

          i.   for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

                (1) this is the way of gladness and joy

                (2) it is in direct contrast with the person ‘saved as though by fire.’

          ii.  back in verse 5 of this chapter we were instructed to ‘in your faith supply moral excellence’ (or virtue) and so on

                (1) in that and the following verses we were given our responsibility in supplying the elements needed for Christian growth

                (2) now we are told of what God will supply

                (3) a grand entrance into the eternal kingdom

                (4) because it is to be abundantly supplied

          iii.  picture, if you will, two Christian entering heaven, one following the other as they have been called home

                (1) one enters trying to keep out of sight, holding and folding his robes so that the scorch mark will not be too visible

                (2) the other comes in, and is sought out and greeted by the Lord, ‘Well done, you good and faithful servant.’

 

3.  Peter’s Continuing Care (vv 12-15)

     a.  His Readiness to Remind (12)

          i.   Therefore, I shall always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.

                (1) always be ready’ – some translations express this negatively – ‘I shall not be negligent’ – but the meaning is the same as the U. S. Coast Guard motto “semper paratus” ... always ready

                     (a) as we should be always ready to take that next step in Christian growth

                     (b) so Peter as an elder will be always ready to remind us as he does in this letter.

          ii.  It is a reminder

                (1) that is, it is a bringing back to our recollection things that we already, or should already, know

                (2) the various truths given in this chapter are not, as it were, ‘rocket science’, nor some deeply hidden Biblical truth

                     (a) there are such truths in Scripture

                     (b) but these are not such

                     (c) they are expressed in the simplest terms

                     (d) and made understood by the Holy Spirit

          iii.  so Peter can say with assurance

                (1) that this has been established in believers

                (2) so that they are present with the Christian

                (3) because they are part of the fulfilment of Jesus Christ’s promise: “”But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

          iv. now it is up to each of us

                (1) to obey in seeking to grow in the fashion given

                (2) to encourage our brothers & sisters in Christ to do the same

 

     b.  Folding Up His Tent (13-14)

          i.   13 And I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.

                (1) the word for ‘earthly dwelling’ is literally tent or tabernacle

                (2) and how appropriate that is for us who are pilgrims

                     (a) because a tent is a most temporary and transient shelter

                     (b) relatively easy to move from place to place as is needed

                (3) and so is a picture of our human body – it’s but a passing residence

          ii.  Peter knew that his life was coming to an end

                (1) at that meeting after the resurrection recorded in John 21, Jesus informed Peter that this day to fold his tent would be coming

                (2) and the words of these verses indicate that Jesus had given further reminder to Peter of this (small wonder, then that he is diligent in the short time he has left to give these important reminders to us).

                (3) so he stirs us up to remind us of our need to grow up into Christ

 

     c.  A Future Provision (15)

          i.   And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you may be able to call these things to mind.

                (1) but Peter’s diligence (that we be diligent in these things) is not going to end with what he has just written

                (2) but rather, he is taking steps to see that these reminders will remain available and active after he has died

                (3) how?

                     (a) well, one obvious way is the writing of this letter was not a casual thing, but intended to future Christians

                     (b) part of the proof of that is that it still exists for us to read

                     (c) which meant that Peter instructed that it be kept & circulated (as did also Paul in his letters).

                     (d) so, as Peter wrote, he recognized that his writings, just like those of the Old Testament, were part of the Holy Scriptures (which was also his opinion of Paul’s letters as we shall see later in this letter).

                (4) but it has also been suggested that Peter did so in at least one other way – in directing John Mark in writing the second gospel

                     (a) there is much internal evidence in that book showing Peter’s influence as well as his being the source of some information

                     (b) Mark is a good book for a new Christian to read first, for it gives a clear summary of Jesus’ ministry and teaching.

 

4.  Conclusion

     a.  Peter’s Diligence Should Be Ours

          i.   let us take the words of this chapter to heart

          ii.  that as Peter took his responsibility to remind us

          iii.  we should take ours to remember and put into practice

          iv. as well as encourage one another in these matters

 

     b.  To Continue to Grow as Christians

          i.   so as to confirm by our lives that we are such

          ii.  and with that confirmation

          iii.  look forward – as did Peter – to our rich entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord, Jesus Christ